October 19th, 2009
11:41 AM ET
12 years ago

Health care critic advises 'divide and conquer' strategy

WASHINGTON (CNN) - A prominent foe of health care reform sent a memo to allied groups last week urging greater coordination in the health care message wars as Democrats work to hammer out a final bill.

In the memo obtained by CNN, Conservatives for Patients Rights leader Rick Scott wrote that the health care bills now emerging from the House and Senate will be "target rich environments" – but he implored reform opponents to synchronize their strategies before attacking.

"Our opponents, government-run health care advocates, would love nothing more than having all of us shooting randomly in several different directions delivering only 'glancing blows' on several different aspects of each plan rather than coordinating and targeting our efforts to deliver a decisive 'knock out' punch to each," Scott wrote.

The memo is addressed to "Conservative Leaders and Free Market Health Care Allies." Groups that have been involved in different aspects of health care reform opposition effort include Americans for Prosperity, the Tea Party Patriots, the National Taxpayers Union, the Heritage Foundation and the National Center for Policy Analysis.

Scott said his organization, CPR, plans to remain focused on defeating the so-called "public option." He suggested to the other groups that they each choose to train their fire on "a single specific facet of each plan," such as individual and employer mandates, "massive tax increases" or "deep cuts in Medicare."

The goal, he said, is to develop a "divide and conquer" strategy.

"We would be educating our fellow Americans with a clear and concise message on each facet while forcing our opponents back on their heels trying to defend our individual sharply focused attacks from multiple angles on multiple issues," he wrote.

Scott also applauded the groups for their work so far: "It's now approaching Halloween, and nothing has passed either house of Congress," he wrote.

Filed under: Health care
soundoff (94 Responses)
  1. Fred the Moderate

    So what is your plan? Just to keep sticking it to the American people? I guess the only time these nut cases will understand what the Democrates are trying to do for them will become evident if one of them gets sick and looses everything to get well because their health insurerer droped them.

    The GOP has run a SAD campaign to stop the most fundimental need in the US right now. It's just sad!

    October 19, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  2. Karen

    Let CNN blame President Bush for the attacks in Iran, the drug companies, Al Sharpton, Jessie (20 kids) Jackson, the UConn killing, the Heene family. It is amazing how much CNN loves Obama. Keep up the great work.

    October 19, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  3. Idiot_Pelosi

    I love the fact that the OBAMA News Networks (ABC, NBC, CBS, and even CNN) are not talking about the DOCUMENTED TAX INCREASES associated with this so called "Great" HC Reform Bill.

    Once again, the OBAMA media tries to hide the "bad" and only talk about the "good".

    Another TAX and SPEND plan.

    October 19, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  4. Karen

    Is Rachel Maddow working with CNN?

    October 19, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  5. diesel

    Rick Scott is a Demon

    October 19, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  6. victim of republican greed

    It is good to hear from the chief lobbyist of the republican party and the health insurance industry. Now if we could just get Fox lies to report this.

    October 19, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  7. Glen Beck is king of the morons

    The Corporate Fascists are coming out of the woodwork now,spending billions to save their golden parachutes.

    October 19, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  8. T Mckinley

    How many MILLIONS of dollars does a heathcare insurance executive need in executive compensation in order to be able to live comfortably?

    I wonder how many MILLIONS of dollars Rick Scott has been paid over the years?

    October 19, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  9. james

    I think this is a good strategy as it will layout some under reporting weakness of this show call healthcare reform bill. For example, why has not been reported that the show call government healthcare or public option limits the # of tests dr can run on a patient or else fines will be imposed on a dr. Does this sound like a good idea? considering the fact that it now creates an atmosphere where Dr will need to question and decide between bottom line and patient interest? Imagine if the 5th or 6th or 7th test may just be the one to tell someone that they have cancer but because the DR is too afraid of being fined under the governement healthcare guidelines, he/she opted for no test and the patient is in the dark on the illness until it is too late!!! its life and death folks, the topic is not a partisan one. I suggest CNN read the reform bills and shed lights on these types of issues so people can decide. LEts stop the partisan dance and get back to serious business like reporting on the boring but crutial facts!

    October 19, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  10. AustHall

    The Republicans are systematically attacking health care reform to further their own interest

    I am shocked, Say it is not so (sarcastically)

    Obstructionism and lies are all the Republicans have left

    October 19, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  11. yuri

    We understand that the CPR, as a group, seemingly needs its own CPR, to revive and revitalize their strategies, preferably by trained EMTs, who are paid for by Lord knows who. This pugnacious attitude of Scott, might provoke en equal, if not greater, counter-response form the opponents, to ward off the " punches " delivered by his team of pugilists. Somebody oughta put a sock on all these ugly utterances, delivered " in the interest of the people ".

    October 19, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  12. Jon

    I still don't get why Republicans are so jubilant when they write "nothing has passed either house of Congress." I thought they recognized that our health care system was broken and that it needed fixing? I guess the only thing they really recognize is the size of contributions from insurance companies to Republican politicians.

    October 19, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  13. Grahame

    Of course Rick Scott is paid by Pfizer and any other drug companies you can think of. I just bet that if this moron wanted a heart transplant then he would be screaming about the cost of his personal health care

    October 19, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  14. Joe E.

    The USA would be well served if Rick Scott were to contract a painful, non-treatable, but non-lethal condition, to remind him minute by minute just what he and his greedy friends are trying to accomplish. If they succeed, there will be many in such pain, without the resources to alleviate it. Nothing teaches like experience. May he be granted that experience.

    October 19, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  15. Moe, NY

    I demand a Public Option.

    October 19, 2009 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  16. Moderate Democrat

    Scott and his organization are full and passionate supporters of the mass genocide taking place. He and his supporters fully endorse a 'Profit from Murder' business model.

    He and his supporters are actively in pursuit of slaughtering 45000 americans each and every year. He and his followers are worse then the taliban, their plan is equivelant to FIFTEEN 9/11's PER YEAR.

    Mr Scott and his supporters should rot in hell for their crimes against humanity. Health care is HORRID in todays day and age, and they want it to remain that way...so that they and their cronies, partners in crime, can continue to profit by killing grandma and little Timmie!

    October 19, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  17. Marty, Grand Rapids MI

    Join CPR in fighting against the American people and for Business and Rich Citizens....

    October 19, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  18. Rush

    Well, they're first mistake is thinking that anybody is proposing government run health care. based on THAT statement alone, I find it hard to believe they have anything to offer.

    October 19, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  19. Rick

    Nothing like ready excerpts for the playbook of the slime machine!

    Let's remember that the plan is to "divide and conquer" so that Americans get no healthcare reform. They should be ashamed!

    October 19, 2009 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  20. Four and The Door

    The strongest argument against Obama's version of health care reform is simple. It raises the cost of health care for everyone to improve access for 20% of the population that doesn't have it now. Bad approach.

    What we have in America right now is not perfect, but the biggest flaw is the cost. The solution to this problem does not involve increasing the cost more.

    The Republican solution starts by lowering the cost. This is an approach that makes sense for America going forward.

    October 19, 2009 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  21. Enough

    The MAJORITY of Americans do NOT want Public option. We want quality health care that is affordable and available for everyone to purchase..............NOT sociaized crappy health care with long waits before you can be seen.

    October 19, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  22. OldScout

    This is what angers me to a nearly speachless state.!

    This coallessing of resistance to improvements in our culture is out and out colusion and conspiracy. There is no reason other than blatant fear for these groups to resist public option and single payer medical care.

    Scott and crowd are too mean spirited and self-serving to be trusted to go away without pressure. The perfect form of pressure is prosecution. He's settled a civil complaint of Medicare fraud; now it's time to prosecute the criminal fraud. This is a tort and a tart one at that for Mr.Scott. He intentionally overbilled Medicare in a manner that can't be attributed to an accidental misunderstanding of billing protocols.

    October 19, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  23. Sandy in Racine WI

    And Rick Scott is a lobbiest for which hard core health insurance group?

    October 19, 2009 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  24. djb

    Harry and Louise are back!!!!

    Who is paying their health care bills???

    October 19, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  25. Jane/Seattle

    Isn't this how this bunch of Capitalists has kept control of this World for so long? Divide and Conquer by telling the masses how it is Really the other side who uses these tactics! Remember Hitler's Homeland and getting Livingroom for the Germans? Would that sound much like "Homeland" Security/Stupidity to you? Why must they maintain Control, the majority of WMD's, and the Power over Resources and Minds? Because the Reich is here, not over there! Read this book: Naomi Wolf's, "The End Of America: A Letter Of Warning To A Young Patriot" AND Naomi Klein's, "The Shock Doctrine: The Rise Of Disaster Capitalism" AND Thom Hartmann's, "Threshold". There are many more and these are among the Best there is out here for the real facts of this matter. Peace, J :o)

    October 19, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
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